Monday, May 8, 2017

Families needed for special education investigation

Media has an important role in the development and effectiveness of public policy. It helps people understand community challenges and potential solutions. At The Arc of King County we sat down recently with Susannah Frame, a reporter for KING Television, and shared some of the systemic issues we see in regards to funding and services for K-12 students receiving special education.

Susannah Frame (you can email her here) now needs to talk to families directly affected. Your stories are important. Following is a note from Ms. Frame:

My name is Susannah Frame and I am an investigative reporter at KING Television. I specialize in complex, long term investigations. Currently, I am working on a multi-part series about special education in the state of Washington. I am highlighting systemic problems with the specific goal of enacting change for the better. Some of the issues to be covered include:

  • The 12.7% state funding cap.
  • Poor outcomes/lack of progress during K-12.
  • Poor post-secondary outcomes.
  • Poor inclusion rates.
  • Continued use of isolation and restraints.
  • The vigorous fight districts will put up against families trying to do the best for their children.
  • Retaliation suffered by families who take districts to task – i.e. denying or reducing services.
  • Families who have had to move to get appropriate services.

This is my request:  I am looking for families willing to tell me their stories. Television stories have the ability to be powerful agents of change in public policy, legislation, and on the ground – in this case at the district and school levels. The key is to tell stories about real human beings. That is how viewers, online readers and stakeholders will connect and care about injustices that need attention/action.

I have a specific need with a sense of urgency - a family to profile who has experienced inadequate services, a delay of services or denial of services in a district that was over the 12.7% cap last year. (Districts over 12.7 percent FTE.)
I am definitely interested in stories outside of these districts, but I wanted to put out this specific request.

The best way to proceed is for families to email me with the basics of their situation and their contact information. If families feel as though they have compelling information/documentation I should see, but want to remain confidential, that is great too.


Susannah Frame
Chief Investigative Reporter, KING 5 Television 
Read Susannah’s Bio
In case you need it, here is a cut and paste link to the 120 districts that were over 12.7 percent FTE last year:

Our concern about the cap: